TeamViewer

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Description

A picture can be worth a thousand words and that can hold particularly true when dealing with other people. TeamViewer was created to allow people to see what other people were seeing and is widely used for remote IT support and for organizing remote team meetings.

Features

IT support technicians understand that it can often be quicker and easier to look at a user’s computer and if necessary carry out necessary changes on their behalf, rather than having to rely on a user describing a problem accurately and correctly following the steps needed to resolve it. With organizations increasingly moving to primarily remote support, keeping on-site visits to a minimum, TeamViewer has developed a growing following amongst remote support technicians.

TeamViewer has also become a popular tool for online meetings and in particular, online training sessions. Participants can not only see each other’s computer screens, but can also share sound effects. The program supports VoIP conversations as well as instant messaging to facilitate human interaction and it can also support the use of webcams so that participants can see each other. The software is simplicity itself to use. One window displays the tools needed to initiate a session (either for remote support or a meeting), while another displays the connected computers. TeamViewer supports MacOS, iOS and Android as well as Windows so nobody should be left out. Although organizations which work purely in the business to business environment will probably take ownership of ensuring that TeamViewer is installed on users’ computers, organizations which provide support to private customers will be happy to know that TeamViewer is a small application, which is quick to download and simple to install.
Many users will manage this quite capably by themselves, but for the most technically challenged, companies could prepare a step-by-step guide and e-mail it to them prior to starting the full support process. Organizations with a Premium or Corporate licence get an additional set of management tools, which not only make it easier to manage user accesses, but can also monitor connections and use them to calculate support fees, which has a multitude of applications in the corporate world.

Comparison

There are a number of alternatives to TeamViewer, although using them generally involves dividing the remote-support functions from the meeting functions. In terms of remote support, the best of the remaining free options are VNC for remote support within organizations and Techinline Remote Desktop for companies dealing with private users. While VNC is arguably the more powerful tool overall, it requires a broadband connection and, more importantly, has very specific requirements in terms of network configuration, which are likely to be confusing for private customers. Techinline Remote Desktop is a web-based application which is much more end-user friendly.
For online meetings Vyew provides excellent functionality and is free (albeit supported by adverts) for meetings with up to 10 people. The paid-for versions are also very affordable.

Conclusion

While TeamViewer still exists then it is arguably the current best-in-breed for both remote support and online meetings, if only by virtue of the fact that it provides strong support for platforms other than Windows as well as being easy to use. If it is phased out due to the merger, there are, however, strong alternatives available.

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